We’re witnessing another devastating natural disaster. We’ve been through this at lot recently, New Zealand, Haiti, now Japan … one of the things they have in common, aside from human suffering, is our inability as bystanders to turn away.
There are endless news stories about the devastation, loss and pain that millions are experiencing right now. There are 20,800 YouTube videos of Japanese buildings falling down; a Google image search produced millions of images of the devastation including any and all news related to the event.
While people have always be aware of the dangers in the world, the hyper connectivity and broadcasting of disasters such as these can make us feel even more vulnerable. What is the impact of being a witness, even a distant witness, on our own psyche, on our desire to help?
The way you vote, the food you buy, the brands you dig—they are all being deeply affected by subliminal advertising. It’s totally legal – and totally unethical.
In recent years, an abundance of literature has surfaced proving that subliminal messaging can indeed affect our thoughts and behaviors—even without conscious awareness. As consumers, we all have an invested interest in understanding the research – how it’s being used against us – and what we can do to uphold our rights.
Here’s a peak at the research:
The Wall Street Journal reports that palliative care saves Medicaid an average of 6,900 per seriously ill patient; research proves that that care is better for mood, affect, and survival. More, research is proving that humanistic methods of care are the source of success; humanistic psychologist Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is being used as the foundation patient care and treatment.
Published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the study on palliative care looks at 151 patients with Metastatic Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, and early palliative care intervention. The patients chosen for the study were randomly assigned to one of two groups; palliative care with standard oncologic care or standard oncologic care alone. At the twelve week mark, the quality of life and mood were assessed in the study participants through a variety of scales and instruments. Based on the data, researchers concluded that quality of life, mood, and affect were significantly greater among patients receiving palliative and standard oncologic care concurrently.
Complimenting this, researchers Zalenski and Raspa from the Department of Emergency Medicine and Palliative Care in Michigan, found statistically significantly results for palliative and hospice care environments when implementing the motivation and needs theories of Abraham Maslow. Researchers clearly adapted the five levels of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs to palliative care environments – including:
What better time to briefly look at the life of a woman.
The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that 1000 women die every day due to complications in childbirth, 13% of women world wide die of HIV/AIDS related conditions and suicide is the fifth leading cause of death for women aged 20 – 44 years. They estimate 73 million women suffer from mild to severe depression.
Of these women 86% of them that live low income countries do not have access to mental health services.
These are numbers we do know. There are most likely countless numbers of women who go unseen and unheard that are not included in this data.
Before we send armies of therapists all over the world, there is one thing to consider, that mental health is intrinsically tied to physical health. Systemic responses to the social, cultural and economic crises of women will ease they psychological and spiritual suffering of women.
The WHO recommended the following actions that can be taken to help women around the world no matter their socioeconomic status.
It’s been a big week for sex abuse scandals: the Archdiocese of Philadelphia has suspended 21 priests – the largest mass suspension in church history – as a result of accusations involving inappropriate contact with minors.
Meanwhile victims groups have begun to say publicly that the Catholic Church should monitor accused priests the way the police track convicted sex offenders ... and create special housing for them.
Sexual violence is never permissible, yet lost in the discussion of these horrifying crimes is the question of rehabilitation. For the most part, the public assumption is that once a sex offender always a sex offender: rehabilitation is not possible.
It’s an understandable assumption – rehabilitation requires taking an offender seriously as a person: how can we do this with sex offenders, especially child abusers? How can we reach out to them to address their humanity, and human needs?
But there are horrifying consequences if this assumption is wrong. If sex offenders can be rehabilitated, then failure to do so not only is cruel to the offender, it puts more people at risk precisely because sex offenders remain untreated.
In fact, it is humanistic and existential therapy that has proven most effective in rehabilitating adult sex offenders – and it achieves this success precisely by relating to offenders as human beings.
In preliminary research (PDF) humanistic and existential psychology, utilized in the group therapy context, has proven successful in rehabilitating sex offenders.
According to the New York Times, many psychiatrists who know perfectly well that talk therapy is a better option for their patients are under the financial gun because insurance companies won’t pay for them to develop a relationship with the people they’re supposed to heal. The result is psychiatrists who treat hundreds of patients in 15 minute intervals, adjusting doses for people they don’t really know at all.
The story follows Dr. Donald Levin, a psychiatrist who has been in private practice for nearly 40 years, as he deals with the personal and professional struggle to provide care for his patients. He and his colleagues confront a number of issues:
The over reliance on pharmaceuticals
The need for therapists, psychiatrists, and psychologists to be affordable to people of all incomes
The relationship between therapists, psychiatrists and psychologists and the insurance industry
All three of these issues have brought Dr. Levin and other psychiatrists to a place of having to choose between a long held tradition of talk therapy and the all mighty dollar. Generally they choose to follow the insurance companies’ lead.
Last month, the American Psychological Association (APA) approved the release of the publication, Guidelines for Psychological Practice with Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Clients. It’s an essential publication, for psychologists and laymen a like, in order to empathically relate and ethically care for all people with equality—and according to their needs.
The guidelines were written with an emphasis on what was declared by the APA’s 1975 resolution stating, “Homosexuality per se implies no impairment in judgment, stability, reliability, or general social or vocational capabilities.” Since that time, the APA has been a staunch supporter of the “mentally healthy” aspects of same-sex attraction. In sum, the guidelines speak to the rationale and application of twenty one specific guiding principles for psychological practice with lesbian, gay, and bisexual clients.
Chances are you or someone in your family is in a committed same-sex relationship. And--likely, they want equality and proper care. The recent census reports 1.2 million gay couples living together in the United States; roughly between 3-5 percent of the total population reporting an LGBTQQI orientation. (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual, Queer, Questioning and Intersex)
It recent years, academia, professional organizations and social service agencies have caught on. Rightfully so: Discrimination based on ethnicity or gender is a no-no — sexual orientation is no different. Psychology, specifically psychotherapeutic practice, has made huge growth. These new guidelines are part of that progress.
Do women have equal access to social networking technology?
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organizations (UNESCO) released the 2011 Education for All Global Monitoring Report on Monday that gives some discouraging news about the children that are living in our war torn nations.
In a press release issued March 1, 2011, UNESCO states that armed conflict is robbing 28 million children of education.
Living in a conflict area puts millions of children at risk of sexual violence, human rights abuses and targeted attacks on schools. These armed conflicts are not only destroying the educational infrastructure but the social structure that sustains the school and educational system. Teachers often flee the country during war time.
Violent conflicts reinforces inequities that are already rooted in a country, wars push those on the edges further out, depriving them of the needed basic resources and a tool to help them overcome disparities – and a resource that is almost always overlooked for refugees is education.
Recently in New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo proposed capping the salary of school superintendants at $175,000. That’s still a lot of money, and it would certainly help school districts save $100,000 here and there annually.
But I’m confused: why is it that, when private sector CEO’s are offered multi-million dollar incentive packages during the height of a recession, it’s considered essential business strategy because they need to attract top talent – but when school districts pay a fraction of that for quality superintendents, it’s considered waste and inefficiency?
We’ve all somehow gotten the idea in this country that government is wasteful while the private sector is efficient ... but then why is it that Goldman Sachs can justify offering its already wealthy employees billions in bonuses for 2010 alone, while teachers and hospital workers are told they can’t even organize for better working conditions? Wouldn't teachers and hospital workers demanding bonuses be the height of efficiency? Because, just like it's supposed to do for bankers, it would keep and retain the top talent?
Why is Goldman’s extravagant spending a savvy, efficient, use of shareholder dollars, while the comparatively small amounts needed to better support government employees are considered a waste of taxpayer dollars?